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District updates

GCSSD will have a School Board meeting on Monday, July 27, 2020 to discuss calendar changes for a start date of August 17, 2020. The board will be discussing changes to the entire school year due to the delayed start date and approve a new 2020-21SY calendar. Once the decision has been voted on and approved, updates will be posted to all district and local school websites and social media outlets. The reasoning behind the delayed start date is to hope that the COVID cases in our area continue to decline and we start at a Level 3.

Due to the potential start date change, Digital Learning Academy registration has been extended to July 29, 2020. Details about the DL Academy can be found on the district website under COVID Information and in the News section of local school websites.

We will continue to follow the recommendations of local health officials with the mask requirement. If COVID case numbers continue to decrease we will adjust the mask requirement accordingly.

We need each of you to help! Please continue to practice CDC COVID-19 guidelines to do your part in flattening the curve so we can serve and support your students in the best learning environment possible.

View the District Update 2 video:


Link to Reopening Plan (full): https://5il.co/i86m
Link to Reopening Plan (summary): https://5il.co/i73l
Link to Digital Learning Academy Registration Information: https://bit.ly/2ZZTIoY


Mask Requirement Information

GCSSD is asking that all staff and students wear cloth face coverings while in the school building. Cloth face coverings are a simple barrier that can help reduce respiratory droplets from traveling through the air when people wearing a masks cough, sneeze, talk, or raise their voices. Cloth face coverings should cover the nose and mouth and be designed to allow adequate respiration.

The following people should not wear cloth face coverings:

  • Children younger than 2 years old should not wear a cloth face covering because of concerns that they might suffocate.
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.
  • Children sleeping or resting during naptime.
  • Children who continuously play with, suck on, or chew on their face mask.
  • Children with medical conditions that affect breathing or with certain developmental or mental health conditions.
  • Those participating in activities with any risk of strangulation, such as outside play or physical activity.

Face covering should be removed at the following times:

  • When outside and able to practice social distancing
  • During meal and snack time
  • During nap time
  • While participating in physical education
  • During extended time in hot areas
  • When mask is wet or soiled

Students should socially distance if unable to wear a face covering.

Other measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 include social distancing, frequent hand washing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

Please note that face shields have not been proven to contain respiratory droplets and are not an alternative to a cloth face covering.

We must be aware that bullying and harassment may occur because we are asking students and staff to wear cloth face coverings. We must be consistent and concise in our communication.

Here are some important points to share.

  • We are wearing face covering because it helps reduce virus spread by making a barrier.
  • People can have COVID-19 and not have symptoms. They can be spreading the virus to someone who is at risk of becoming severely ill.
  • By wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and using good hygiene measures we can help to prevent the spread of the virus.   

Link to document: https://5il.co/ikpr


Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)

The COVID-19 Family Food Assistance program has been extended until July 13th

The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) and the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) announced Tennessee families are now eligible to receive financial support for their children’s nutritional needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This support is provided through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program.

Under the new P-EBT program, families of children who receive free or reduced meals at school or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school may receive financial assistance to replace school meals during the months of March, April and May due to COVID-19 school closures. The program will provide parents with $5.70 per child for each day that child qualifies for P-EBT.

“Families across our state depend on the meals their children receive at school and many were not prepared to immediately replace those meals when schools shut down for COVID-19,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “The P-EBT program brings economic support to ensure children receive the nutrition they need. Helping families through this emergency is how we continue building a thriving Tennessee.”

Parents who already receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits currently, do not need to apply. The funds began arriving on the EBT card they already use beginning June 12. Parents who do not receive SNAP benefits, but whose children do qualify for free or reduced school meals, will need to apply for PEBT online here beginning June 15. The application period will end July 13, 2020.

Individuals who need assistance completing their P-EBT application or have general questions about the program are encouraged to call the TDHS hotline at 1-833-496-0661 and select option 3. Qualifying families will receive P-EBT support in two installments, one for meals in March and April initially, and then one additional disbursement later next month for May meals.

“During the COVID-19 school closures, we saw an incredible, herculean effort to keep providing meal services to students and families,” said TDOE Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “This additional relief from P-EBT will be helpful during this time of uncertainty for families and it is important to make sure every eligible family knows about the program.”

Throughout the COVID-19 school closures, many districts and schools across Tennessee used innovative ways to continue delivering meals to students and families, such as “grab and go”


Cleaning Devices

The cleaning process below will help control germs on devices. The options below do not create a “germ free barrier” on the device, but will provide a level of cleaning.

Always turn off and unplug the device before cleaning.

Use either 70% isopropyl alcohol or Clorox wipes.

  • Do not pour any alcohol directly onto the device but instead pour a small amount onto a lint free cloth and then wipe down the device
  • Clorox wipes: Make sure the wipe is not dripping wet when wiping down the device
  • Avoid getting any moisture in any openings
  • Allow the device to air dry before turning it back on
  • Computer labs throughout the district will be cleaned using a UV wand

Level 2: desktops / laptops will be cleaned at the end of each class period
Level 3: desktops / laptops will be cleaned at the end of each day